The ecommerce market is exploding and as it grows, so do the number of software vendors offering new ways to capture customers’ attention. As you get ready for the new year, check out some of the cool tools being built to boost ecommerce conversion rates.

The distribution experience

Gone are the days when anyone would even consider waiting at home for a package to be delivered. We’re purchasing more online and with that comes the need to make distribution of those items more efficient. Amazon lockers led the way in providing customers alternatives to home delivery, but others are close behind. Google’s BufferBox is currently being tested in San Francisco, and ShopRunner is building a network in an effort to help other retailers keep up with the two growing giants.

Gettin’ social with it

One of the toughest challenges ecommerce marketers face is social proof. You walk into a store and see a million tiny cues about who shops there and whether or not the product is for you, online stores lack this very human element. Increasingly, social media is being used to bridge that gap. Tools like BevyUp and Curalate help ecommerce companies embed social activity on their websites. Building social proof where it matters most – at the point of purchase.

A bigger sandbox

Not only are retailers getting better at bringing social elements closer to the point of purchase, they’re also working on pushing the point of purchase closer to the world customers are already interacting with. Tools like Atosho and ShopLocket remove the friction between content and product, decentralizing the point of purchase so customers can buy without interrupting the flow of what they were already doing.

The new email marketing

Email continues to be a big ROI generator for ecommerce companies, but competition is hot. For example, 93% of ecommerce retailers sent an email on Cyber Monday. How do you stand out in the crowded inbox? Companies like MovableInk and SaleCycle embody the next generation of email marketing. MovableInk allows retailers to create dynamic, live content embedded in an email. Countdowns, dynamic maps based on user location, and emails that change over time are some of the clever ways this technology helps ecommerce retailers capture customers’ attention. SaleCycle focuses on helping retailers get more out of abandoned carts by automating highly customized email follow-ups.

Personalization

As ecommerce competition grows, so does the need to create ever more relevant and personal offers. Tools like Monetate and Maxymiser promise the holy grail of marketing – the right message to the right person at the right time. Giving marketers the ability to retarget, dynamically change website offers, and tap into powerful segmentation testing.

Thinking global

As evidenced by Alibaba’s enormous growth, China’s ecommerce market is exploding and globally ecommerce sales are set to expand to $1.2 Trillion. This massive growth is creating big opportunities for online retailers willing to think outside the boundaries of their country. Companies like BlueSnap and Payvision offer payment processing technology that is built for the global marketplace. Shopify is also taking steps to enable store owners to accept global payments with its recent move to accept Bitcoins.

Summary

2014 is shaping up to be an exciting year for ecommerce marketers. As you explore and try out some of the new technology available to ecommerce retailers remember the data-driven marketers mandate: Always Be Testing.

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Image courtesy of twobee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • http://www.abc-of-ecommerce.com/ebook Robert Froyk

    Responsive design is also a key trend for online stores that want to have a high conversion rate, especially since 23% of purchases are made from mobile devices.

    • http://rjmetrics.com/ Tristan Handy

      Hi Robert! You’re totally right–mobile is definitely up there. Maybe it should be “seven technology trends…” :)